This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Metals, Not Miners, Are This Week's Villains

Gold and silver prices plummeted this week on a spike in the value of the U.S. dollar.

For the five trading days ending Thursday, Aug. 14, the U.S. dollar index gained 2.85% against the basket of major currencies. Over the same period gold cast off 7.61% of its luster while the sliver meltdown sliced off 12.50%.

Pulling back a bit, we can see that the U.S. dollar bottomed in mid-March. At that time, gold topped out at $1,032.70 with silver at $21.36 per ounce. With gold falling 33.62% and silver falling 21.89% from their highs, these two precious metals have entered bear market territory.

Gold and Silver in Bear Market

Click here for larger image.

In this new bear market, the average precious metals fund we track lost 6.09% for the week ending Thursday, Aug. 14. At the same time, the benchmark Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index of mining shares shed 5.64%.

But this week, the worst-performing funds in this sector are not the mining shares that are usually more volatile than the underlying metal. This time the price movements of gold and silver outpaced the mining companies that still should still be profitable at the relatively high current spot prices for the metals.

Leading the losers with double-digit losses, the iShares Silver Trust (SLV), off 12.51%; PowerShares DB Silver Fund (DBS), down 12.19%; and the E-TRACS UBS Bloomberg CMCI Silver ETN (USV) sliding 10.67%, all track the bullion price of silver.
Worst-Performing Precious Metals Funds for the Week Ending Thursday Aug. 14
Fund Ticker Rating Fund Type 1 Week Total Return
iShares Silver Trust SLV B- ETF -12.51%
PowerShares DB Silver Fund DBS A ETF -12.19%
E-TRACS UBS Bloomberg CMCI Silver ETN USV U ETF -10.67%
iPath DJ-AIG Precious Metals Tot Retn Sub-Index ETN JJP U ETF -9.34%
ELEMENTS Linked to the MLCX Gold Total Return Index GOE U ETF -9.25%
PowerShares DB Precious Metals Fund DBP A+ ETF -8.52%
ProFunds Precious Metals UltraSector ProFund PMPIX C- Open-End -8.47%
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF GDX B ETF -7.84%
SPDR Gold Trust GLD A+ ETF -7.83%
iShares COMEX Gold Trust IAU A+ ETF -7.72%
Source: Bloomberg & Ratings

Only two funds on the best-performing precious-metals list this week managed to gain ground. They bucked the trend of imploding commodity prices on weaker expected economic demand.

First, the iPath Dow Jones-AIG Nickel Total Return Sub-Index ETN (JJN) added 2.01% for the week. This roughly corresponds to the 1.81% increase in the spot price of nickel on the London Mercantile Exchange to $19,088 per metric ton.

The only other precious-metals fund avoiding a loss is the Gabelli Global Gold Natural Resources & Income Trust (GGN) hovering at a positive return of 0.36%. The appreciation in fund's 36% allocation to oil & gas stocks balanced out the depreciation of the 60% of fund assets invested in mining shares.

Even with spot platinum prices down 5.36%, two of the fund's holdings of Johannesburg platinum miners Impala Platinum (INPUY) and Anglo Platinum (AGPPY) rose 12.02% and 3.05% respectively on rumblings of impending takeover bids from BHP Billiton (BHP).
Best-Performing Precious Metals Funds for the Week Ending Thursday Aug. 14
Fund Ticker Rating Fund Type 1 Week Total Return
IPATH Dow Jones AIG Nickel Total Return Sub Index ETN JJN U ETF 2.01%
Gabelli Global Gold Natural Resources & Income Trust GGN B+ Closed-End 0.36%
iPath Dow Jones AIG Copper Total Return Sub Index ETN JJC U ETF -3.05%
SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF XME B+ ETF -3.28%
RiverSource Precious Metals and Mining Fund INPMX C Open-End -3.28%
Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund VGPMX B+ Open-End -3.38%
iPath Dow Jones-AIG Aluminum Total Return Sub-Index ETN JJU U ETF -3.61%
Oppenheimer Gold & Special Minerals Fund OPGSX B- Open-End -3.88%
iPath DJ-AIG Industrial Metals Total Return Sub-Index ETN JJM U ETF -3.96%
US Global Investors Gold and Precious Metals Fund USERX B Open-End -4.53%
Source: Bloomberg & Ratings

For an explanation of our ratings, click here.

RealMoney Barometer Poll
1 What would best describe your stance heading into the coming week of trading?
2 Which of these sectors do you think is set to move up in the coming week?
3 Which of these sectors do you think is set to move down in the coming week?

View the results without voting
Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
IMPUY $4.20 0.00%
SLV $16.66 -1.90%
DBS $27.87 -1.35%
IAU $12.46 -0.20%
GLD $123.34 -0.25%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,889.79 +116.15 0.65%
S&P 500 2,080.42 +15.12 0.73%
NASDAQ 4,813.2320 +37.8740 0.79%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs